Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, launched national consultations with the World Bank Group (WBG) to discuss the general framework for climate action and the preparations for the climate and development report for Egypt.
The meeting took place in the presence of ElSayed Elkosayer, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation; Ayat Soliman, Regional Director of the World Bank Group’s Sustainable Development Department for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; and Mrs. Marina Wes, Regional Director of the World Bank office in Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti.
The meeting witnessed the participation of representatives of many ministries and stakeholders, including ministries of trade, industry, transport, petroleum and mineral resources, irrigation, local development, planning and economic development, agriculture, housing, health, electricity; along with representatives from the Agricultural Research Center (ARC), the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), and several other national institutions.
Al- Mashat stated that the World Bank Group is one of Egypt’s strategic development partners, noting that the current consultations involving line ministries and stakeholders aim to identify the government’s priorities with regard to preparing the climate and development report for Egypt. The report aims to identify the national mechanisms for assessing the effects of climate change on the economy and monitoring the steps taken to adapt to it in order to enable the government to evaluate and follow up these efforts in cooperation with the WBG.
The Minister of International Cooperation elaborated that multi-stakeholder consultations are necessary to prepare the aforementioned report, especially since climate change has cast a shadow on various development sectors, namely agriculture. Al-Mashat noted that a national committee will be convened to encompass line ministries and stakeholders to resume discussions on the priority sectors that the report shall focus on.
Minister Al-Mashat praised the successful partnership between Egypt and the World Bank Group, which supports national efforts to achieve development in many areas, including transport, housing, utilities, environment, and health, among many others. The Minister highlighted the value of the development financing agreements signed with the WBG in 2020, which amounts to $1.5 bn. These agreements testify to the Ministry of International Cooperation’s efforts to consolidate economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support Egypt’s Vision 2030 and accelerate the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Minister of Environment said that her Ministry is currently preparing to launch the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction with the support of state ministries and the Green Climate Fund, which aims to attract investments to engage the private sector in climate action plans.
The Minister of Environment added that curating a climate action plan with the WBG will entail the recognition of the national priorities and the gaps in linking climate change to the economy, whereby the impact of climate change on economic sectors could be determined and the government could take the appropriate measures through policy making and allocating financial resources to different projects.
The Minister of Agriculture said that the agricultural sector is the most affected by climate change and its harmful effects, pointing out the need to determine the magnitude of the challenges facing each sector and the expected effects of climate change before laying down priorities.
Ayat Soliman, Regional Director of the World Bank Group’s Sustainable Development Department for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, stressed the importance of consultation and discussion with various sectors to highlight the opportunities to catalyze climate investments in response to climate change across all development sectors. Soliman also noted that climate change poses a threat to all countries, which requires collective effort by all stakeholders to advance Egypt’s sustainable development plan, including combating climate change.
Marina Wes, Regional Director of the World Bank office in Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti, noted that the World Bank Group seeks to support national efforts in terms of climate action, given the importance of these initiatives to enhance national and regional development efforts led by Egypt.
The ongoing development cooperation portfolio between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the World Bank Group includes 17 projects worth $5.8bn to support various sectors, including education, health, transportation, social solidarity, petroleum, housing, sanitation, local development and the environment.